Seychelles’ debt-for-nature swap initiative



DiCaprio donates US $1M

 American actor Leonardo DiCaprio will donate US $1 million to the Nature Conservancy for the Seychelles’ debt-for-nature swap initiative supported by the Paris Club.

The US $1 million in debt relief is being given in exchange for ocean and coral reef conservation off the coast of Seychelles.

Rising ocean temperatures and carbon levels are damaging coral reefs in this spot, which once provided a lush habitat for many marine animals.

To protect this vital ecosystem, the Nature Conservancy proposed a US $30 million debt swap for Seychelles in exchange for a promise to protect marine life and promote conservation.

The money is the first installment of a US $5 million grant that several organisations will this month be giving Seychelles to help with biotechnology and the fisheries industry.

Speaking about his efforts to help the world at the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Awards in Davos, Switzerland, DiCaprio said: “We simply cannot allow the corporate greed of the coal, oil and gas industries to determine the future of humanity. Those entities with a financial interest in preserving this destructive system have denied – and even covered-up – the evidence of our changing climate. Enough is enough. You know better. The world knows better. History will place the blame for this devastation squarely at their feet.”

While giving an acceptance speech for the Crystal Award in Davos last month, the 41-year-old actor said his foundation – Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation – will give more than US $15 million to fast-track cutting edge sustainability and conservation projects around the world.

The other organisations benefitting from the donations are: US $6 million to Oceana and Skytruth for Global Fishing Watch, US$3.2 million to Rainforest Action Network and Haka to protect the Sumatran rainforest, US $3.4 million to Clearwater and the Ceibo Alliance in South America, and US $1.5 million to the Solutions Project.

DiCaprio said his grants will support projects that have expanded protected areas on land and at sea, protecting iconic endangered species and empowered indigenous communities to fight back against corporate encroachment on their lands for the past decade.

His foundation works with more than 70 partners in 40 countries to protect the planet's remaining natural ecosystems.

Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Didier Dogley said the Seychelles’ debt swap initiative is getting a positive response and about 10 countries are setting up their own programmes.

He added that the money is the first installment of a US $5 million grant that several organisations will this month be giving Seychelles and will be used to help with biotechnology and the fisheries industry.

The minister explained that the Seychelles government is also receiving help from the US environmental organisation – The Nature Conservancy.


Source: NATION 2-5-16